Metro Atlanta Policy Lab for Education
Potential Remediation Strategies in the Wake of COVID-19 School Closures
What is the existing research evidence on the efficacy and cost of remediation strategies that school districts could employ to mitigate the learning loss associated with school closures brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic?
The combination of family disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the closure of schools and transition to remote learning, undoubtedly reduced achievement growth for many students. Once schools reopen, they will face the challenge of compensating for the learning losses that occurred while schools were closed. Districts must decide what remediation strategies to pursue and for which students.
This review summarizes what is known about the efficacy of three frequently-proposed potential remediation strategies and the associated costs of implementing those strategies. The intent is to provide districts with a curated summary of the most relevant research that can help provide guidance for districts as they formulate their plans for dealing with COVID-19-related achievement losses.
Existing research indicates that extending the school day by an hour for an entire school year or instituting summer school programs could eliminate up to one-third of expected learning losses but would likely cost at least $800 -1,100 per student to implement. High-intensity tutoring programs carried out by highly-skilled tutors are likely to be even more effective, virtually eliminating any learning losses brought about by COVID-19 school closures. However, this strategy would come with a hefty price tag, costing as much as $3,800 per student per year. In contrast, extending the school year, employing low-intensity tutoring programs during school breaks, or assigning students to the same teacher for multiple years are not likely to substantially mitigate learning losses brought about by school closures during the pandemic.
To read more, please download the literature review below.